While some people might tell you that everything in coffee has changed in the past decade and a half, Daniel Karaconji, of Double Tap in Marrickville, will tell you that while some things change, others stay the same.
“A lot more people are roasting, [and] a lot more customers are enthusiastic about coffee, but most people drink coffee in the same way. Customers enjoy their milk coffee, and coffee is still a ritual for people; they get up in the morning and they want a coffee.”
With sunlight streaming into this double-fronted coffee shop past the end of Enmore Park, it’s hard to disagree with Karaconji. Here, regulars stop by in the morning on their way to work, groups of ladies chat over coffee and cake in the afternoon and those living and working nearby come around on their lunch break for a strong coffee and a bite to eat to get them through the afternoon.
Karaconji got his start in hospitality observing these daily routines.
“I was just finishing high school and a friend of mine had a shop in North Sydney. I was hoping to make a little bit of pocket money and he said ‘Come down and work with me in my shop [for] a couple of days a week’. I walked in [and] the noise people chatting, the smell of coffee, it's so intoxicating. I fell in love with it, and I was just working in cafes ever since.”
In the years after that, Karaconji made his way around Sydney cafes, before landing up the road at Coffee Alchemy, where Sydney’s love of small-batch roasted, single origin coffees began in 2005. With some more time to reflect, Karaconji decided to go his own way last year, and brought along his family for the ride.
“My wife has always worked in kitchens [but] we didn't expect it to be as busy as it has been with food. My mum started to bake at the beginning, so we had something to offer, and then it became such a selling point [because] it's home-made, so it just continued.”
Today, Double Tap offers a small range of home-made sandwiches and cakes, as well as a tight menu of cooked meals, however Karaconji and his family are intent on keeping things simple. Don’t come expecting a ready-for-Instagram meal, instead, think of the food as an accompaniment to the coffee.
At Double Tap, Panorama Roasters provides the house blend, while Karaconji selects small, local roasters who have often just started roasting to provide the beans for filter and black espresso brews. Double Tap also offers these beans for sale, changing regularly, meaning a new flavor is always on offer, something that Karaconji values highly.
“I love that you can never learn enough about [coffee]. As much as you learn, you always feel like you're learning more. It's something you can never nail, you can't contain something that has so many possibilities.”
As Karaconji highlights, even though our rituals may remain the same, there’s always new journeys to be had with coffee and the possibilities of connection.
“Coffee involves a lot of people, from the people who farm it, transport it, sell it, produce it, roast it, brew it, drink it, consume it, there's so many people involved in the process of it. Anything that brings people together is a good thing.”
Still bringing people together after all these years, coffee will continue to do so into the future.
54-56 Smith St, Marrickville
Mon – Fri, 6am – 3pm // Sat, 7am – 1pm